COVID Victory

A good friend, and very smart fellow, posted on the Webs that he is scared. I felt like writing a response. I too have felt a level of concern that periodically grows to alarm. I’m going to write this to him but I hope someone else might find it helpful too.

Brother, I love you. You are a good man and these are uncertain times. We have loved ones who depend on us and we have worked to create a durable safety for them. However, the environment has shifted in ways that no one living has seen before. It is not that this shift is going to End The World As We Know It. The problem is we are accustomed to engaging our environment with a level of understanding and confidence that is not presently possible. When it comes to protecting what matters most there are two fronts. The first is an invisible killer whose behavior we do not fully understand. It’s a little like having a ghost out there hitting people in the back of the head with a lead pipe. The second is the impact this killer has on services we trust our lives to.

Fortunately we know some things about the killer’s behavior. We can take concrete steps to reduce our exposure e.g. washing hands, getting sleep, social distance, etc. We cannot eliminate COVID risk but we can look for meaningful ways to improve our percentages.

The impact the killer has on services like grocery stores and hospitals is alarming. People ravaging stores of their water and toilet paper (WHY?) presumably so they can build TP forts at home, hide in them, and wait out the virus. My sweetie went to Trader Joes yesterday to grab some food for dinner and the place was nearly empty. She just walked in and walked out again. This didn’t bother her much because we saw this coming and took steps to deepen our pantry. If your pantry is a little shallow do what you can to beef things up. You can start copy canning now (Eat what you store and store what you eat). Also, take notes now of what you wish you had done earlier to read when this has passed. You have a perspective you won’t have later. This illness could overwhelm our medical services and that puts us at greater risk to everything and that takes me to my concluding point.

We cannot protect ourselves completely. We cannot even protect ourselves to the degree we are normally accustomed. Responsible living is doing what we can with what we have and getting on with life. Moments will come when our limbic system will shout at us, “YOU’RE EXPOSED.” It may even shame us for not making different decisions in the past. Well, both those things may be true. Write down and take note of the decisions where you did not make good use of the information you had and acknowledge your exposure. You can tell your limbic, “Yes. These are uncertain times and we are vulnerable in ways that we have not been in the past. I have done what I can and will keep doing it.”

You know that I’ve had a rough go of it the last couple years. I have made a careful and ongoing study of Proverbs 3:5-6. The first half of verse 5 has been my focus lately. What does it mean to trust? Does it mean we can count on Him giving us what we want? Can your little one rely on you indulging her whims? No, but she can trust you to act for good. Trusting, fully and deeply trusting God is a harrowing venture. His context is so much greater than ours that we know in our bones he will not be our sugar daddy. What we know is when we are exposed and when we see danger coming He is counting on us to do our best, but we are in His hands.

Made in USA

Continually updated

There are some great lists out there of US products but I wanted one I could reference that was organized the way I wanted. I also don’t want to restrict origins to just the US. The point for me is to cast my consumer votes for thing made in places, ways, and by people I want to support from materials I trust. This is about supporting places that treat workers well and aren’t under governments hostile to my country. This means Italy, Israel, and Ukraine would be perfectly fair game for the list.

I also include places that may sell some but not all American made products. For example, Filson makes the fantastic, all-American, Makinaw Cruiser but they also sell shirts made in East Asia. To make this clear I use the following legend.

  • (A) All products are American made
  • (M) Most products are American made
  • (S) Some products are American made


  • (S) Filson
    • You just have to watch. Some items are made in the US. Some are made in the US from imported materials but some of the imported materials are made in places like Scotland.
    • Rugged outdoor clothing and gear as well as consumer based garbage. Great warranty but decidedly overpriced. However, somethings, like the Tin Cruiser, you buy once and cry once.
    • Also check eBay.
  • (A) Round House
    • Work wear
    • Their prices seem roughly comparable to Carhartt and Dickies. Have not used any of their products but imagine they are of similar quality to Carhartt and Dickies.
  • (M) Triple Aught Design
    • Almost everything is made State-side and all is made very carefully. Some of the materials are sourced globally but they are committed to quality.
    • Tactical and outdoor clothing and gear for both men and women


  • (A) Norton’s U.S.A.
    • A uniquely American general store”
      • Selling only American made goods!
    • They sell a large variety of goods. They shipped some silicone spatulas across the country for $6 with no issues. Will buy from them again.

Arthur Sakamoto on Conventional Wisdom about Asian Americans: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #25


Check out the ‘Half Hour of Heterodoxy’ podcast.

I was listening to the episode ‘Arthur Sakamoto on Conventional Wisdom about Asian Americans: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #25’ and thought it was fascinating.

Direct link: ‘Arthur Sakamoto on Conventional Wisdom about Asian Americans: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #25


The data are not being looked at fully and things a far more complicated and interesting than seems to be let on.

Trump’s Exoneration

We have a problem.

For the sake of this discussion let us presume that Trump and all connected with him are completely innocent of any form of wrong doing with respect to Russia. However, only you and I know this.

Now, allegations (which in this hypothetical are unfounded) have been made about Russian ties to the Trump campaign. Trump needs to be shown blameless so that this issue will be put to rest.

Here is the problem:

Who can do this?

Jeff Sessions? He is not credible simply by virtue of his appointment. The same problem holds true of the Assistant AG as well as the soon to be FBI Director.

I have been distressed by people’s propensity for #Russiantojudgement but that doesn’t mean we should never have a judgement.

I am confident we will find a way through this but I don’t see what that will be and it bothers me.

Drowning does not look like drowning

“Of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.”

“In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.”

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

In this brief (930 word) article the always illuminating Mario Vittone describes what drowning actually looks like.

Read it. Read it now.

Share his article.

Robert M. Pirsig Dies

NPR reports that Robert M Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals has died at age 88.

Zen was eye opening and life changing, each time I read it. Lila felt like a work of obligation. While Lila had moments where the third person was used more powerfully than I had ever encountered it before, on the whole I found to book maddening. The quickest way to describe it is the difference between Socrates and Plato. In fact I would Liken Zen to the Apology and Lila to the Republic in regard to their approach to establishing ideas. I was over 10% younger than I am now when I read it and think I might take a gentler view should I read it again.

He was the first person to introduce me to the non-rational foundations of our value systems, every single one. I am grateful for this.

I hope he found the Quality he was looking for.

Rest In Peace Mr. Pirsig.